2011/6/4 – Bean Peak / 豆峯

With the weather being more than nice this weekend, there were lots of options for peak hiking despite the fact that snow is still around on most peaks. I needed some place closer and something short as I needed to be back to the city and get ready for a birthday party at 5. My options around Mountain Loop Highway were pretty slim given that the gate was closed at Deer Creek. I decided to go to Teanaway despite the 2 ½-hour drive each way. Devils Head was a possibility, although it would have taken longer to do. In keeping with the Mountaineers Teanaway Twenty Peaks list, Bean Peak would take me the least amount of time to finish. So Bean Peak it was.

We were on Iron Peak two weeks prior, so no directions were needed to get to the area. This time driving on service road 9737 was incredibly smooth and it felt like something was missing—the road had been resurfaced and the potholes weren’t gone! Two miles on 9737 from the 9737/9703 junction, we took a right onto service road 112. The road ran north-southward along side Beverly Creek, before coming to an end at trail #1391. When we got to there at 9 AM I was shocked to see the sea of cars parked in the lot, with more cars overflowing out onto the service road. In speaking with the couple Tom and Danielle who arrived right after me, the cars probably belonged to The Mountaineers groups out on their scrambling courses that day.

We said goodbye to the couple and their dog Jasper and left the trailhead at quarter after. There was a creek crossing about half a mile in, and getting Mr. Cooper to cross the creek was interesting. The water was pretty shallow, though he was nervous to cross because of the current. Mr. Cody, on the hand, couldn’t wait to jump right in to swim around. The only way to get Cooper to cross was for us to start walking away once we got to the other side. Somehow that jump-started his problem-solving skills and got himself over the creek. Snow level was around 4,400’. Traction was definitely not needed, although I put on microspikes for stability.

We saw the first The Mountaineers group at the bottom of the basin. I talked to one of the instructors for a bit while the other instructor talked to the students. We left the group and continued walking up the basin. The second group wasn’t far ahead, in fact, the dogs had caught up to them before I realized where they were. I caught up to the group and chatted with the leader about the organization for a few before we continued hiking. Before long we found ourselves at the head of the basin and it was time to head straight up the slope toward the ridge.

The compass on my GPS was a little off and I mistook Mary Peak for Bean. As I climbed up the slope things didn’t quite add up while comparing the terrain with my GPS version. We were going up the ridge between Bean and Mary to the west instead of through Earl ridge to the east. Oh well, all roads eventually lead to Rome. Everything in the basin was in plain sight, so it would have taken a real miracle to get lost and/or end up on the wrong peak. One of the leaders for The Mountaineers group outings was at the peak when we arrived. The man, Johnny Jeans, apparently had climbed every single peak in the Cascades and was responsible for naming the Devil’s Head directly north of Bean. Impressive!

Johnny and I talked and waited for the first group to arrive. It was totally unexpected to see thousands of ladybugs nesting between the rocks. The lookout area wasn’t very big to begin with, and it got even smaller once the group arrived. The boys and I stayed just long enough to take pictures before heading back down. On the way down, we saw the second group heading up the slope though the exposed rocks. Nothing eventful the rest of the way back except for trying to get Cooper to cross the creek again.

We only ran into two people near the trailhead asking about the trail conditions. Another beautiful day in the Teanaway!


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